Open thread

For Gene Sperling.

Talk about whatever.

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66 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    Ben Franklin says:

    Who are these ‘faithful’ who are cheering Benedict and lamenting his departure.

    Are they clueless about the Chief Pedophile?

  3. 3
    Ben Franklin says:

    Who are these ‘faithful’ who are cheering Benedict and lamenting his departure.

    Are they clueless about the Chief Pedophile?

  4. 4
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Why is there a thread for the former President of the Hair Club for Men?

  5. 5
    patroclus says:

    I’m still flabbergasted by Antonin Scalia and his disregard for the 15th Amendment and its legislative history. If 5 Republican-appointed Justices really do gut Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, there will indeed be a backlash. And Roberts will bear the brunt of it.

  6. 6
    Zifnab says:

    The whole “racial entitlement” thing still has me floored. Is it possible to run a political campaign by focusing entirely on a Supreme Court justice? Like, if I ran for Senate on the platform “Will demand the impeachment of Justice Antonin Scalia” how many votes would I get?

  7. 7
    Zifnab says:

    @patroclus: Oh, hi Patroclus. We appear to have mind-merged for a second.

  8. 8
    beltane says:

    Who will be chosen first, the new pope or the new Italian prime minister? Perhaps Antonin Scalia’s unhappiness stems from the fascists’ poor showing in the Italian election on account of all the blahs voting.

  9. 9
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “Hi, my name is Booby Woodward and I’m an attention whore! Look at me! Look at me!”

  10. 10
    Ben Franklin says:

    The live-blog wrt tp Manning just went down, but I saw where Manning first offered his
    data to WaPo and NYT, who refused. Only then did he go to Wikileaks.

    Another successful representation by our MEdia.

    http://www.bradleymanning.org/

  11. 11
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Are they clueless about the Chief Pedophile?

    SASQ: Yes.

    It’s in their nature. They’re all Rick Santorum fans, too. You know. The non-smart people.

  12. 12

    […] John Lee Hooker weighs in with some pertinent […]

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @patroclus: @Zifnab: Looking back, I think Scalia shed what was left of his dignity, professional pride, and interest in the correct application of legal principles in favor of the being a full-time right wing asshole somewhere between November 4, 2008, and January 20, 2009.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    I could have told Manning how well an offer against the deserting coward malassministration would go. The 60’s were over like 50 years ago, man.

  15. 15
    eemom says:

    @patroclus:
    @Zifnab:

    Srsly, what an utterly disgraceful spectacle that was. I have not a word to say in defense of the SCt as an institution this time — not a one.

    Last year when my fellow HCHS alums and I had the honor of meeting with Justice Kagan and asking her questions, I asked something to the effect of how the polarized state of politics plays out on the Court, and her response was to the effect that, deep ideological differences aside, “we all really like each other.” And I have elsewhere heard how Justice Ginsberg, who I adore, shares a particular camaraderie with Fat Tony because they’re both opera fans, or something.

    But I have to say I don’t get it. For all the collegiality in the world, I don’t see how you could like or respect a creature so hellbent on hatefulness and destruction.

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    somewhere between November 4, 2008, and January 20, 2009.

    That “somewhere” was just after 8PM Pacific Standard Time on 4 November 2008. By an amazing coincidence, that’s when the deficit became the most important fucking issue on the national agenda, too.

  17. 17
    aimai says:

    This song link reminds me of a great scene in Justified this week. The anti-hero white trash, Harlan red neck Boyd faces off with the white collar, upper class, rulers of Harlan and wins the battle hands down with the cold remark “You fellows are criminals…but I’m an Outlaw.” Meaning: cheap chislers and cowards break the law and fear getting caught. Outlaws are simply outside these considerations and won’t hesitate to kill you.

    I thought about it when I started reading this Woodward crap–you do realize that he is suffeirng from a mad loss of manly man war correspondent street cred. He’s covering washington gossip, for g-d’s sake. Of course he felt the need to puff off his courage by inflating a gentle correction into a “war” between him and Obama. But he’s nothing but a white collar coward. He ain’t no outlaw.

  18. 18
    patroclus says:

    @Zifnab: Indeed. As I see it, the Scalia issue is far more important than whatever Bob Woodward is saying. The Voting Rights Act could well be gutted in little more than three months time – and with it the 15th Amendment. Saying that voting is a racial entitlement is outrageous, and to hear/see it coming from an Associate Justice of the USSC is astounding. He really should be forced to resign.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Ben Franklin says:

    Manning on stand: “no one at (the) WikiLeaks organization pressured me to send any information”, “I made these decisions on my own”

    https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/307176565870047232

  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin: Dude, SG posted a thread.

  22. 22

    Our society is addicted to playing the victim. It’s just another tool in the furtherance of tribalism. But what really pisses me off is that there are real victims out there whose stories may be delegitimized.

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom:

    I have not a word to say in defense of the SCt as an institution this time — not a one.

    I’ll wait for the decision, but I am not optimistic. I suspect that if Section 5 survives, it will do so solely because of a political calculation by Roberts.

  24. 24
    rdldot says:

    I need a new career and am thinking of becoming a real estate agent. Does anyone here do that? And what do you think? I think the housing market is coming back for various reasons, but are there already too many agents sitting in the wings from the last downturn?

  25. 25
    Robin G. says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The fact that Scalia’s now made it explicitly about race, rather than implicitly, makes it more likely Roberts swings to support, IMO. Dude cares about his legacy.

  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @rdldot: Have you considered being a pundit?

  27. 27
    Zifnab says:

    @eemom:

    Last year when my fellow HCHS alums and I had the honor of meeting with Justice Kagan and asking her questions, I asked something to the effect of how the polarized state of politics plays out on the Court, and her response was to the effect that, deep ideological differences aside, “we all really like each other.” And I have elsewhere heard how Justice Ginsberg, who I adore, shares a particular camaraderie with Fat Tony because they’re both opera fans, or something.

    I mean, they’re coworkers. I’ve had super-wingnut coworkers to work with before. Mostly, you just don’t talk about politics and you get along fine.

    How SC judges do it, when its their job to talk politics all day? I imagine the politeness is all that more critical. They all know that they need each others’ votes to get any kind of consensus, so its all the more critical to play nice and smile on the off chance a justice comes around.

    I’m personally convinced the PPACA survived because Judge Roberts got put in some kind of snit by his fellow conservatives. It’s one reason I’ve got a bit of hope for the Voting Rights Act. I can honestly see Kennedy or Scalia going back behind close doors and saying something to the effect of “Better not Lib-out on us like last time you damn hippie”, and having him run into the waiting arms of Sotomayor and Kagan because fuck these assholes.

    I’d find it a laugh-riot if they just struck down the language declaring the Voting Rights Act applies exclusively to the South and opened the law up to the rest of the states as well.

  28. 28
    Roger Moore says:

    @Zifnab:

    Like, if I ran for Senate on the platform “Will demand the impeachment of Justice Antonin Scalia” how many votes would I get?

    You shouldn’t get any votes running for Senate on that platform, since the Senate doesn’t have the power of impeachment. The House impeaches (i.e. indicts) and the Senate holds a trial. You might promise to convict if he’s impeached, but that’s only likely to make a difference if the impeachment seems plausible.

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Robin G.:

    The fact that Scalia’s now made it explicitly about race, rather than implicitly, makes it more likely Roberts swings to support, IMO.

    You may well be right, but that isn’t particularly good for the Court as an institution. I guess the hit for that is less than the hit for overturning Section 5 under Scalia’s “logic.” It is depressing to me that this is even an issue.

  30. 30
    Hill Dweller says:

    Chuck Todd actually posted this on twitter: This Woodward-WH story is proving a media stereotype that I hate but can’t disprove: that we’re too self-absorbed. It’s not about us!!!!!!!

  31. 31
    Mandalay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    “Hi, my name is Booby Woodward and I’m an attention whore! Look at me! Look at me!”

    Hi, my name is Bobby Woodward and I posted a load of lies about sequestration over the weekend, so let’s quickly change the subject and talk about how Gene Sperling threatened to rip my liver out with his bare hands.

  32. 32
    catclub says:

    @jeffreyw: Those cats in ‘Gloomy” look so serious. I guess it is the B/W and darkness.

  33. 33
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Hill Dweller: When you’ve lost Chuck Todd!

  34. 34
    mouse tolliver says:

    Someone needs to get George Lucas to do a special edition of All The President’s Men where they swap Robert Redford for that guy from Ally McBeal who had the remote control toilet. Redford was miscast.

  35. 35
    shortstop says:

    @Zifnab:

    How SC judges do it, when its their job to talk politics all day?

    The thing is, it’s not their job to talk politics all day. It’s their job to opine on the constitutionality of laws, which often, perhaps more often than not, has political ramifications — whole different thing. Far from being an ethical jurist with political opinions, Nino has given up any pretense at solid jurisprudence in favor of blatant politicking.

  36. 36
    Hill Dweller says:

    One thing is for sure, the President has a gift for driving his opponents crazy.

  37. 37
    mouse tolliver says:

    @Ben Franklin: The rot starts at the top and goes straight to the bottom. Catholics at every level are complicit. In that HBO documentary about sex abuse at a school for the deaf, one of the victims told his mother and got smacked down because you’re not supposed to say things like that about a priest. There were DA’s who knew about the allegations, but only did half-assed investigations because they were devout Catholics.

    Another victim confronted the pedo priest decades later and got it on tape. The nurse who was taking care of the elderly pedophile father scolded the victim for not being a good Catholic.

    They all know about it, but it’s something they can overlook. Sometimes you just need to keep walking, I guess.

  38. 38
    eemom says:

    @Robin G.:

    Dude cares about his legacy.

    I think that’s right, and that it very likely is what saved the ACA.

    One man’s ego stands between us and and the devastation that would be wrought by an unabashedly politicized majority. Kinda sad I guess, but you avert disaster with the fifth vote you have, not the one you wish you had.

  39. 39
    shortstop says:

    @Robin G.: Which by itself is just another political move and not an ethical or professionally tenable reason for an opinion. This is why so many of us were deeply discouraged after the ACA ruling, despite it going our way. We’re very glad we won it. We’ll be very glad if the Voting Rights Act stands. But we’re not happy that we’re dealing with a clearly corrupt court and that so many rulings, favorable to us or not, depend entirely on some of the justices’ egos and political calculations.

  40. 40
    rdldot says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well, if y’all want to start sending me money I can blather with the best of them.

  41. 41
    balconesfault says:

    Was just listening to Rush in a pique of masochism while driving home for lunch …

    Seems that David Gergen on CNN saying that Obama is partially responsible for the sequester is proof positive that the liberals are turning on the Administration.

    Seriously.

  42. 42
    dmsilev says:

    @mouse tolliver:

    Someone needs to get George Lucas to do a special edition of All The President’s Men where they swap Robert Redford for that guy from Ally McBeal who had the remote control toilet Jar Jar Binks.

    Fixed for additional Lucasosity.

  43. 43
    eemom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    It is depressing to me that this is even an issue.

    The good news is that fucker ain’t gonna live forever, and, while I am totally not into 2016ing, I think the chances are reasonably good that a Democratic president will appoint his successor, and perhaps Kennedy’s, thereby STFUing Thomas and Alito for the rest of THEIR despicable natural lives, yay.

  44. 44
    dmsilev says:

    @Hill Dweller: I think Obama made the same prayer as Voltaire:

    I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: “O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.” And God granted it.

  45. 45
    Face says:

    Dude cares about his legacy

    No chance. The ACA was a one-time anomoly for Roberts. He owes his conservatives and fellow GOP a huge bone here, one that, if executed correctly, could sweep the GOP back into power as the Southern legislatures restict voting to one district in one corner of each state where only crackers can live.

    Kennedy already sold his soul with his intent to toss the ACA, so he’s no swing vote. VRA out, poll taxes in!

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom:

    STFUing Thomas

    Like that takes a lot of effort.

    Unlike the ACA, I am entering this one with very low expectations.

  47. 47
    JPL says:

    @Hill Dweller: What?
    Is that Chuck speak for I’m a jerk and know I am but what are you..

  48. 48
    Punchy says:

    @eemom: Let’s play a what-if….

    What if a Dem Pres is elected in 2016, and does indeed replace Fat Tony and/or Old Kennedy with solid young liberals. Knowing that he’d likely never see a ruling in his favor again, would Thomas stay on or resign? Part of me sees him as a lazy old fuck who just wants to cash paychecks and keep the bennies. But the other part sees a man who would never get to write an opinion and have any meaningful impact on any decision. Wouldn’t Thomas pack it up at that point?

  49. 49
    catclub says:

    @Face: It strikes me that there is FAR, FAR less noise on the right about this case compared to the PPACA. They want to get it decided quietly,
    and so would not explode against Roberts if he failed to come through, as they did on the PPACA.

  50. 50

    Did Ratzy ask W for the Mission Accomplished banner for today’s festivities?

  51. 51
    patroclus says:

    @Punchy: Justice Thomas promised in 1991 that he would screw us for 40 years and I fully expect him to fulfill that promise. He’s got 18 more years of screwing us with bizarre legal reasoning and pretending that the 14th Amendment doesn’t exist to go.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @patroclus: Now I am more depressed. Thanks.

  53. 53
    mouse tolliver says:

    @Face:

    Kennedy already sold his soul with his intent to toss the ACA, so he’s no swing vote. VRA out, poll taxes in!

    We already have a poll tax. It comes in the form of long wait times on election day. Nobody gets paid leave for taking time off to vote.

  54. 54
    shortstop says:

    @patroclus: Wow, has it really been that long? It seems like just last week that a bunch of pompous men, including our current vice president (who has evolved very nicely), were making complete idiots of themselves interrogating Anita Hill. Meanwhile, Ted Kennedy, who’d developed quite a bit of self-awareness over the years, had the good sense to keep his head down and say nothing.

  55. 55
    mdblanche says:

    Non habemus papam.

  56. 56
    shortstop says:

    @mdblanche: Add a smiley and exclamation point, ’cause it’s a good thing.

  57. 57
    eemom says:

    @Punchy:

    But the other part sees a man who would never get to write an opinion and have any meaningful impact on any decision. Wouldn’t Thomas pack it up at that point?

    I think it would have exactly the opposite effect, in that it would WAY inflate whatever creepy-ass image he has of his own legacy as lone warrior against whatever — and actually he would GAIN in influence within the Court on Scalia’s and Kennedy’s demise, because he would become the most senior justice in what will presumably become a very frequent dissent-writing minority.

  58. 58
    ricky says:

    It has been recently proven that Reagan approved wiping out the remainder of the Mayan empire.

  59. 59
    the Conster says:

    @mdblanche:

    Just watched the Italian movie Habemus Papam, and though it was released over a year ago, it’s like a documentary of what will happen at the end of the conclave. All the cardinals are praying to themselves while entering the Sistine Chapel “please let it not be me”.

  60. 60
    eemom says:

    @shortstop:

    Meanwhile, Ted Kennedy, who’d developed quite a bit of self-awareness over the years, had the good sense to keep his head down and say nothing.

    dunno if it was so much good sense as glass house. It was remarked at the time that he basically had a paper bag labeled Chappaquiddick over his head.

  61. 61
    mdblanche says:

    @shortstop: I missed the editing cutoff but here you go:

    Non habemus papam! ;)

  62. 62

    Liked this Grantland piece on the Glennnnn Beck/WWE teaparty wrestling storyline and reaching out to latinos.
    Written by a ‘rasslin fanatic so a bit different angle.
    http://www.grantland.com/story.....glenn-beck

  63. 63
    Nora says:

    It seems to me that the Supreme Court is more politicized than it has ever been in its history. Sure, there were terrible decisions made in the past, but at least there was an effort made to pretend that they were following precedent, and that their decisions were based on constitutional principles and not naked political calculations. When I went to law school (graduated in 1984), we had to learn all kinds of things about the Supreme Court rules, how they choose to take a case, things like ripeness and mootness and standing, the “rule” that they not reach for a Constitutional issue if a case can be decided without it. I wonder what they teach law students these days.

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Nora: If it is any comfort to you, the Lochner era was pretty bad and the Court came back from it.

  65. 65
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    I rarely see Chuck Todd’s MSNBC program, but because I’ve been on the road the last few days with a weird meeting schedule I have caught him a couple of times. Jeez O Peet, he is quite possibly the worst interviewer I’ve ever had the misfortune of seeing or hearing.

  66. 66
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Nora:

    It seems to me that the Supreme Court is more politicized than it has ever been in its history.

    It is pretty politicized, but maybe not uniquely so. I remember far enough back in history to recall the song (to the tune of John Brown’s Body/Battle Hymn of the Republic) “Hang Earl Warren from a sour apple tree, His impeachment still won’t fill the bill for folks like me.”

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